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Submitted on
March 14, 2009
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Babysitter by Hippopottermiss Babysitter by Hippopottermiss
Another hippo or four :)

Hand modelled in grogged white clay and fired twice to 1100C / 1000C

:bulletpurple: More hippos can be seen in my website gallery [link] :bulletpurple:
:bulletblue: or you could see if I have any hippos for sale [link] :bulletblue:
:bulletred: Hippopottermiss is on facebook: [link] and Google+ [link] :bulletred:

Featured by :iconcinnamoncandy: here [link]

and by :iconartofkassie: here [link]
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Leo-Pheonix Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
I never knew hippos could look this cute.
Halfling-J Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
How do you deal with sculpting an animal with such small legs compared to the body? Is there a certain way you rest them while drying and firing so that there is no pressure on the legs?
Hippopottermiss Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
There is more than one way of dealing with it. One is to prop the belly so that the weight is not so heavy on the legs. That's not what I did here but I do sometimes. I modelled the big hippo and when I did his legs he was upside down on a block of foam rubber. He stayed that way until the next day by which time his legs had dried a bit and I was also able to hollow him out. The extremities always dry faster than the mass. That reduced the weight on the legs too. I then made the babies to put on his back. It was useful that the body had already dried a little because otherwise the babies would have dried too quickly in comparison and would have risked splitting off. I hope that helps?
I don't mind answering technical questions but I would have prefered it if you'd been polite enough to put a "please" or even a "Hi!" in there somewhere! We're supposed to be a community on dA :)
Halfling-J Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Oh, I'm very sorry! Hello! Please forgive me for being impolite =( I wasn't meaning to be. You're are just such a talented ceramicist I didn't want to put too much in a message, I was just trying to make it short and to the point. I apologize again, I meant no disrespect. 

In truth I wasn't sure if you would reply.

Thank you so much! this was extremely helpful. I too work with clay and create creatures but run in to so many problems with legs. I usually flip the animal upside down and rest them on a mound of clay but this usually makes their back flatten. I'll try foam rubber next time.

Again thank you so much for sharing your technique! And I am so very sorry for being rude. You are an incredible artist and I am very thankful that you took the time to reply to me =D 
Hippopottermiss Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Apology accepted :)

I know you do ceramics because I had a look at your gallery before I replied :D I decided you deserved help. The block of foam rubber (covered in a bit of old tee-shirt so it can be washed) is there to stop the back flattening. I use them all the time. If you check this link out you'll see me doing a demonstration at a craft fair. I'm using two blocks of sea-green covered foam rubber because I'm making a pair of hugging hippos. Neither can stand until I join them together so each has his "bed" until they're ready for joining.
Halfling-J Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you =)

Is there any special name for the foam rubber blocks? Or is that their most common name?

I have to say I am extremely inspired by your body of work; you not only breathe life into your animals with great detail but also give them adorable personalities. I hope it doesn't sound cheesy but I strive to reach your level of skill in bringing things to life! Heart 
Hippopottermiss Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
No it doesn't sound cheesy & thanks :) I love giving them all life and personality.

A name for tjhe foam? - No :laughing: Mine are bits cut off an old sofa cushion. Recycling at its best :D I made them removable tee-shirt material covers so I can wash them from time to time or when I change clay. I invented them as a technique to stop soft clay things getting flattened by the board. I don't know why more people don't use them. A lot of the things I use aren't official pottery tools :)
Halfling-J Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Oh haha I thought they were something you could find in a store XD I'll be on the lookout for improvised tools from now on =D
Hippopottermiss Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
RukahTsubasa Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
So precious! masterful work!
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